Hraničář Gallery, Ústí nad Labem / 24. 9. — 5. 10. 2019
Guided tour: 5. 10. 2019, 16:00
Where is the Sky Flying
The exhibition Atmospheric Disturbances was conceived as part of the international conference Murmurans Mundus: Sonic Ecology and Beyond, organized by the Faculty of Arts and Design of UJEP in Ústí nad Labem. Both within the gallery interior and in its nearby surroundings, the visitor will encounter various installations, video projections, a set of drawings and photo projections. The conference also includes two segments of lectures, concerts and performances.
The title refers to a current phenomenon in the media to which we have recently been increasingly exposed. Although in our latitudes we usually associate the weather with something that is part of our day-to-day life – something we are used to observing outside, beyond our window, or that we watch on monitors at our desks. But meteorology also has a darker side, one that can sometimes penetrate to the domestic comfort zone: a planetary theatrum of liquid, gaseous and dust systems, a chaotic thermodynamic flux of emissions, turbulences, feedbacks, bifurcations, a system of complex chemical, electromagnetic and temperature currents. Their scope and potential consequences are hard to imagine and can swiftly turn threatening. The works presented at the exhibition directly and indirectly concern the weather in its wonderous uncertainty. Both in fact and metaphorically, these artefacts indicate what has happened, what is happening right now, and what may happen in the near future.
Weather and meteorology have played a powerful role in the work and personal life of the well known art brut artist Zdeněk Košek (1949–2015) who lived in Ústí. Diagrams and celestial maps (especially those created between 1980–1981 and 1990–1992) captured in real time the processes he observed in the sky. Those drawings played a magical role for Košek: he was sure that by pulling his pencil over the paper he could affect and control the weather. He could even bring on a heavy storm, or in a like manner, keep the weather calm.
A series of colour photographs by Marie Steiner (aka Marianna Rainforesteiner) is an example of a female encounter with moths – nocturnal butterflies – who, drawn by the light, fly into the open windows of the country house where she lives. In the context of our awareness of the rapid decline in biodiversity, the delicate structures of moth wings and fragile bodies of insects exposed to the landscape of the human hand bear a signum of the tragedy which underpins the human-animal relationship.
The spatial sound Installation by Jan Krombholz and Polina Katchenko was inspired by the landscape where the artists live and makes use of sonifications of the nearby Bílina River with a set of field recordings, mapping the river from its source in the hills to the place where it joins the Elbe. In this work, they collaborate with photographer and environmental activist Ibra Ibrahimovič, who has been documenting the transformations of this particular river for many years. Right next to the Hraničář Gallery building, there flows the hidden Klíšský brook, running under the pavement and – just beneath the nearby Spolchemie factory building – drains into the Bílina. Daniel Hanzlík reacts to this underground hydrogeography with a site-specific sound installation Skryté území, in which he enmeshes both physical and virtual spaces. A video projection on the sidewalk in front of Hraničář and a sonification on the facade by Michal Kindernay make use of a multimedia archive from the Most lignite landscape, recorded during the project Frontiers of Solitude several years ago.
The Bílina and the Elbe at the Hamburg estuary flow into the North Sea and this water element therefore connects the landlocked North Bohemian landscape to the maritime scale, and even the entire continent. Slávek Kwi’s audiovisual installation “Weather Patterns: Rain and Wind Impulses and Fluctuations” is also based on the artist’s long-term interest in weather phenomena where the author takes the ambivalent position of both observer and agent. “I am looking for a place where I would be an equal partner to various processes, such as disturbances, turbulence and weather changes.”
Portuguese documentary filmmaker, curator and sound artist Raquel Castro presents fragments of her new film Soa in the form of a multiscreen video installation. For several years, Castro recorded interviews with sound artists, soundwalkers and sound theorists about the role of sound and listening in human life, about the education towards improving of aural literacy. One of the authors featured in the documentary is British sound documentary filmmaker and musician Peter Cusack , whose short video from the Aral Sea is part of the exhibition, alongside videos by John Grzinich and Félix Blume , which indicate specific approaches, techniques and perspectives that many contemporary artists have adopted to capture the sounds of the landscape.
curated and organized by Miloš Vojtěchovský and Martina Johnová
Artist: Felix Blume, Raguel Castro, Peter Cusack, John Grzinich, Daniel Hanzlík, Ibra Ibrahimovič, Polina Khatsenka, Michal Kindernay, Jan Krombholz, Zdeněk Košek, Slavek Kwi, Marie Steinerová
the exhibition project is supported by Visegrad Fund and FUD UJEP in Ústí nad Labem